Difference Between Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties: What are Fundamental Rights?

By Aarna Tiwari|Updated : September 20th, 2022

The Indian Constitution outlines certain Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties that apply to all citizens. While the Constitution identified Fundamental Rights since its inception, the Fundamental Duties were added only in 1976. Though both terms are correlated, they are distinct in meaning and notion.

This article will help you identify the primary Difference Between Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties. The topic of the Difference Between Fundamental Rights and Duties is extremely important from the UPSC Exam point of view, as every year, one can find questions on the topic.

Table of Content

Fundamental Rights

Fundamental Rights are basic human rights guaranteed by the Constitution of a country to its citizens. They are manifested in Part III, Articles 12-35 of the Indian Constitution and are enforceable by law.

Indian citizens enjoy six Fundamental Rights guaranteed by the Constitution. They apply equally to all citizens irrespective of their caste, creed, religion, sex, or place of birth.

  • Freedom of Speech and expression
  • Freedom to assemble peacefully without arms
  • Freedom of forming associations, unions, and cooperative society
  • Freedom of movement
  • Freedom to reside and settle
  • Freedom of profession, occupation, trade, or business.

Fundamental Duties

Fundamental Duties are the moral obligation bestowed upon the citizens to uphold unity in diversity and promote the spirit of patriotism. The 42nd Amendment Act in 1976 added the Fundamental Duties upon the recommendation of the Swaran Singh Committee. They are covered under Part IV A, Article 51-A of the Constitution.

Eleven Fundamental Duties are listed in the Indian Constitution. They include abiding by the Constitution, protecting the sovereignty and integrity of the country, promoting the spirit of harmony and brotherhood, and protecting and preserving the country’s heritage, culture, environment, and public property, among other things.

The Eleven Fundamental Duties are:

  • To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem.
  • To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom.
  • To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity, and integrity of India
  • To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so
  • To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India, transcending religious, linguistic, and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.
  • To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture
  • To protect and improve the natural environment, including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures
  • To develop the scientific temper, humanism, and the spirit of inquiry and reform
  • To safeguard public property and to abjure violence
  • To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement
  • To who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years.

Difference Between Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties

Even though the Fundamental Duties and Fundamental Rights are interlinked and cannot exist without each other, there are some differences between them which are as follows:

Area of Differentiation

Fundamental Rights

Fundamental Duties

Meaning

Fundamental Rights are basic human rights guaranteed by the Constitution of a country to its citizens.

Fundamental Duties are the moral obligation bestowed upon the citizens to uphold unity in diversity and promote the spirit of patriotism.

Placement in the Constitution

Fundamental Rights are placed in Part III, Article 12-35 of the Indian Constitution.

Fundamental Duties are placed in Part IV A, Article 51-A of the Indian Constitution.

Native Source

Fundamental Rights in India are borrowed from the US Constitution.

Fundamental Duties are borrowed from the former Soviet Union (USSR).

Applicability

Some Fundamental Rights apply only to Indian citizens, while others apply to foreigners and legal persons (corporations and companies) as well.

Fundamental Duties are confined only to the citizens of India and do not extend to foreigners.

Enforceability

Fundamental Rights are directly enforceable by law. A person can move the court if their fundamental right is violated.

Fundamental Duties are not directly enforceable by law. However, they can be enforced in some situations by Parliamentary Law.

Nature

Fundamental Rights are justifiable in nature as they can be enforced legally.

Fundamental Duties are moral in nature and are based on accountability.

Both rights and duties are integral to any society. Abuse of Fundamental Rights and evasion of Fundamental Duties lead to disruption and disharmony in society. A responsible citizen should follow both of them together for the welfare of society.

Fundamental Rights vs Fundamental Duties

Fundamental Rights are human rights conferred on the citizens of India. As discussed above, an Indian citizen enjoys six fundamental Rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Whereas the Fundamental Duties were added to the Indian Constitution by the recommendations of the Swaran Singh Committee. The amendment, known as the 42nd Amendment, took place in 1976.

The Difference between Fundamental Rights and Duties are discussed below:

  • Fundamental Rights are discussed in Part 3 of the Constitution of India. Fundamental Duties are discussed under Article 51-A of in the Part IV A of the Indian Constitution.
  • Fundamental Rights are defined as basic human rights. Fundamental Duties’ are defined as moral obligations.
  • Fundamental rights can be suspended during a national emergency, whereas Fundamental Duties can be taken away.
  • Fundamental Rights are not absolute and are subject to reasonable restrictions. Fundamental Duties are absolute in nature.
  • The Supreme Court and High Courts, through Article 32 and Article 226, respectively, can enforce Fundamental Rights. Whereas, Fundamental Duties cannot be enforced through Courts.

Difference Between Fundamental Duties and Fundamental Rights UPSC

Difference between Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties is an important topic of Indian Polity. The topic is crucial for UPSC Prelims, Mains, and Interviews. One can find its relevance under GS Paper 2 of the UPSC Mains and as well as in the UPSC Prelims. It is important for UPSC aspirants to be aware of all the facts and information related to Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties Difference.

>> Difference between Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties (PDF)

Fundamental Rights and Duties Question

Question: Which statement does not describe any Fundamental Duty?

  1. To maintain and shield India's sovereignty, harmony, and reliability.
  2. To practice our Universal Adult Franchise during general polls.
  3. To appreciate and uphold the great heritage of the composite civilization.

Choose the Correct Answer:

  1. 1 & 2
  2. 1 & 3
  3. 2 & 3
  4. 1, 2 & 3

Answer: Option B

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Difference Between Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties FAQs

  • Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties are interlinked and cannot exist without each other. The key Difference between Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties are:

    • Fundamental Rights are justifiable in nature, whereas Fundamental Duties are moral in nature.
    • Fundamental rights can be suspended during a national emergency, whereas Fundamental Duties can be taken away.
    • Fundamental Rights are human rights conferred on the citizens of India whereas, Fundamental Duties were added to the Indian Constitution through the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976.


  • भारतीय संविधान में छह मौलिक अधिकारों का वर्णन किया गया है। 42 वें संविधान संशोधन द्वारा संपत्ति के अधिकार को मूल अधिकार से कानूनी अधिकार बना दिया गया है। छह मौलिक अधिकारों का वर्णन:

    • समानता का अधिकार : अनुच्छेद 14 से 18 तक।
    • स्वतंत्रता का अधिकार : अनुच्छेद 19 से 22 तक।
    • शोषण के विरुध अधिकार : अनुच्छेद 23 से 24 तक।
    • धार्मिक स्वतंत्रता क अधिकार : अनुच्छेद 25 से 28 तक।
    • सांस्कृतिक तथा शिक्षा सम्बंधित अधिकार : अनुच्छेद 29 से 30 तक।
    • संवैधानिक उपचारों का अधिकार : अनुच्छेद 32
  • मौलिक अधिकार और मौलिक कर्तव्य में अंतर यह है कि मौलिक अधिकार आपके लिए दी गई विशेषाधिकार पर आधारित है, जबकि मौलिक कर्तव्य जवाबदेही पर आधारित है| मौलिक अधिकार अदालत के समक्ष लागू करने योग्य हैं, जबकि मौलिक कर्तव्य अदालत के समक्ष लागू करने योग्य नहीं हैं।

  • Fundamental Rights are basic human rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. Articles 12-35 of the Indian Constitution, under Part III, sheds light on Fundamental Rights.

  • The Difference Between Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties in enforceability is that Fundamental rights are directly enforceable by law but not fundamental duties. However, Parliamentary Law can enforce them in some situations.

  • The Constitution of India outlines its citizens' fundamental rights and duties. Part III defines fundamental rights, and part IV A outlines fundamental duties.

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